In Defense of Winter Camping

An actual logical argument for why you need to go right now

I hear you groaning through the internet. You think there is nothing I could say that could possibly convince you that camping in the winter is a good idea. It’s cold.

Just you wait. I have legit logic on my side.

Before we begin, let me remind you about deductive reasoning (syllogism, anyone?), which you’ve probably forgotten since you took Philosophy 101. It’s a process of reasoning that takes valid premises to reach a logically-certain conclusion. Huh? Basically, if you agree with the premises I lay out, then, logically, you must also agree with the conclusion.

You want an example, right?

Premise 1: All cats are cute.
Premise 2: Grumpy Cat® is a cat.
Conclusion: Grumpy Cat® is cute.

OK. Let’s logic.

Premise 1: You love camping.

You probably wouldn’t have clicked on an article from REI if you didn’t. And who doesn’t love camping, after all? Everything about camping spells happiness.

The long walk to the perfect destination. The short struggle to set up the tent. The stars that stretch on and on into the infinite. The loft of down over ears.

Camping is one of the best things on earth—and gives you access to the most beautiful locations on the globe, the most refreshing swimming holes and the longest hours in the wilderness. It’s close to your heart.

Premise 2: Winter camping is camping.

Winter camping, while different, is still camping. And before you begin to complain about the cold and the dark again, let me tell you what’s great about it.

2a. You crunch through untouched snow in unpeopled terrain.

Three people walking in the snow

2b. You craft a customized campsite—complete with a perfectly flat tent spot and dining area.

People cooking in snow

2c. Your food tastes better in the frosty cool, especially supplemented by hot chocolate. A boiling hot water bottle will keep your toes toasty warm all night long.

Cooking quesadilla in the snow

2d. You get to play in the snow.

Snowball fight

2e. You don’t have to backpack at all—car camping is just as fun in the winter.

Car camping in the snow

2f. And lastly, camping in the winter is more about camping itself.

… unlike camping in the summer, which is more about the activities that camping makes possible (going longer distances, finding faraway viewpoints and staying outside for those long daylight hours). The longer nights mean more hours spent reading, playing cards or just talking with friends. The cooler weather leads to cozying up together around a cup of something good and enjoying the feeling of sleeping outdoors.

Winter camping is truly a celebration of the best parts of camping.

Conclusion: You love winter camping.

As I mentioned, if you agree that, one, you love camping, and two, winter camping is in fact camping, then you must agree that you will love winter camping. It’s simply logic.

So, join your logical—perhaps craziest—friends for a trip this winter.

Pack your warmest bag, your puffiest puffy, your hats and gloves and socks and long johns. Go on a bluebird day and pick a camp spot far from avalanche concerns. Grab your favorite just-add-water meal, plenty of warm-me-up drinks and that hard plastic water bottle.

It’s easy to stay warm in the winter. But it’s impossible to get the joys of camping year-round without venturing out into the cold.

Welcome to the world of true adventurers. We’ve been waiting.

Learn More About Winter Camping